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Banner for DPLA Appfest
The DPLA Appfest will take place at the Chattanooga Public Library on The 4th Floor
The DPLA Appfest is an informal, open call for both ideas and functional examples of creative and engaging ways to use the content and metadata in the DPLA back-end platform. The first Appfest will take place on November 8-9, 2012, at the Chattanooga Public Library on The 4th Floor.

We’re looking for web and mobile apps, data visualization hacks, dashboard widgets that might spice up an end-user’s homepage, or a medley of all of these. There are no strict boundaries on the types of submissions accepted, except that they be open source (the DPLA platform is released under a AGPLv3 license) and interoperable with the DPLA platform.

For inspiration, participants might consider building or pitching an app that recommends cultural heritage content such as maps and photographs based on user preferences or a certain set of criteria, an app that helps kids find content related to the topic of their upcoming history paper, or an app that visualizes metadata in new and interesting ways. Any number of approaches to building or pitching an app that utilizes the DPLA platform are open for exploration. Please note that the platform will largely contain cultural heritage data from the DPLA’s seven service hubs, as part of the Digital Hubs Pilot Project. We encourage participants to make their development process open, sharing their designs and sketches and draft code as it develops.

Pitch an App

Got a good idea for an app that you and others could build at the DPLA Appfest? Pitch it below in a few sentences or less! Appfest participants will form teams and build things based on the ideas pitched on this wiki. Please follow the template below when pitching your app.

App title/Name

  • Your name(s):
  • Type of app:
  • Description of app:

A recently added/New in DPLA mobile app

  • Your name(s): Jim Hahn
  • Type of app: Traditional libraries often have an area for new books, this app uses RSS feeds of recently added content in the DPLA to create "virtual new book shelves"
  • Description of app: App can be organized around broad subject area/subject collections, for each of these subject areas or subject/topical collections, you could generate an RSS feed that is then pulled into the mobile app. Re-useable code for this workflow is available...

Example app code (using Dashcode/Phonegap Framework) here: iOS example here:

Video Channel of DPLA content

  • Your name(s): Jim Hahn
  • Type of app: Video player app of digitized film content, would be most useful for larger screen mobile devices, particularly the iPad
  • Description of app: With this iPad app, users can view selected topic/subject area collections of video content in the digitized DPLA collections

Example app code (using Dashcode/Phonegap Framework) here: iOS example here:


  • Your name(s): Marc Gartler
  • Type of app: mobile, map, end user enhancement of metadata
  • Description of app: map of items in DPLA proximate to my location, and ability to contribute metadata (e.g. more precise geo coordinates) for such items.


  • Your name(s): Jeremy Throne
  • Type of app: Interface for visualizing metadata
  • Description of app: biblioGrapher allows users to visualize search results from multiple perspectives. The target audience for the project includes literary scholars and others interested in developing a sense of the temporal, linguistic, and/or spatial travels of a text, author, topic, or phrase. A demo of some of the basic functionality I hope to incorporate into the interface may be accessed here.
  • Public google doc for ideas and plans here.

Metadata Record Similarity Scoring

  • Your name(s): Justin Clark
  • Type of app: Record De-duplication/Recommendation Engine
  • Description of app: Come up with an algorithm that scores the similarity between metadata records. Compute a score for every pair of metadata records (a similarity matrix). Find the similarity-score threshold above which records are probably for the same item. Below that threshold would be records that are similar, but not the same. These records could be used as recommendations. Elasticsearch probably contains everything needed to compute useful similarity scores (fuzzy search, field boosting, score output, etc.).

National Digital Reference Service

  • Your Name: Jessica Keyes
  • Type of app: Ticketing System
  • Description of App: The National Digital Reference Service will allow DPLA visitors to submit a question, tagged by subject(s), and it can be claimed and answered by any librarian in the country who has signed up to participate. It will allow librarians to choose particular subjects they specialize in, and include a notification system for when a question in that subject has been submitted. It will also include tracking for marking tickets claimed, answered, ongoing, and with an optional notes field. Possibility to include a game-style system of ranking participating librarians based on number of questions answered and quality of answer (ranked by user).

Mozilla Open Badges Integration

  • Your Name: Jessica Keyes
  • Type of app: Reward/Certification
  • Description of App: Can provide the rewards and certification for other apps that have achievements or ranking systems.

Visual tool for API config

  • Your Name: Nate Hill
  • Type of app: interface design for API
  • Description of App: Based on an excellent post from Karen Coyle on theDPLA list, this would be a visual drag-and-drop kind of tool so that users without programming knowledge can configure API queries that are useful to their particular audience. Think Yahoo Pipes or IFTT.

Drupal module or distribution

  • Your Name: Nate Hill
  • Type of app: Drupal CMS
  • Description of App: Many. many libraries choose to use Drupal as their content management system or as their application development framework. A contrib Drupal module that creates a simple interface for admin users to curate collections of DPLA content for display on a library website would be useful.

DPLA Zoetrope

  • Your Name: Matthew Battles
  • Type of app: interactive multimedia
  • Description of App: A charismatic, expressive, boisterous, ungamified, carnivalesque jubilee of collections metadata, imagery, and other media available openly on the network. This is not a tool, but a playful online installation.

DPLA, meet Wikimedia

  • Your Name: Matthew Battles
  • Type of app: API mashup
  • Description of App: Inspired by the scenario described by Sam Klein elsewhere on the wiki, this project would discover the extent of overlap between DPLA metadata and media items curated in Wikimedia, which in recent years has become an unparalleled source of photographic documentation of cultural resources. How can photographs of art, monuments, and other cultural resources held in Wikimedia be associated with DPLA metadata—and how can those metadata be made useful and accesible to the Wikimedia community?

A Borgesian Map of the DPLA

  • Your name: Matthew Battles
  • Type of app: visualization
  • Description of app: A broad-spectrum approach to visualizing the peaks and valleys, shadows and bright spots. Perhaps we focus on media type, or subject area, or language, and look for the ways the data tell stories about how we understand and share information.

Find relevant information

  • Your name(s): Ranti Junus
  • Type of app: bookmarklet or browser's add-on
  • Description of app: This is similar with the idea of "Check items in the your local library" when one get list of books in Amazon site. Scenario: a user is searching her local library catalog and the app would allow her pull related or relevant content from DPLA. Ideally, the result would then be embedded/displayed along the catalog search result.